Mattress King's wide selection of mattresses from well-known brands such as Sealy Posturepedic, Embody, and Stearns & Foster run the firmness and texture gamut, giving sleepers of all shapes and sizes a shot at a good night's rest. Sealy's Posturepedic queen-sized Spirited supports dreamers with a comfortable durability ($409 for the mattress, $699 for the set). Dozers with a penchant for luxurious expediency snooze on the Stearns & Foster Bradenburg queen-sized bed, which lends backsides a plush surface and a patient ear as they complain about lousy desk chairs ($719 for the mattress, $1,169.10 for the set), or opt to bounce to another to decide which size fits the mold.
Standard Furniture traces its origins back to 1912, when a local family began traveling through Birmingham, peddling fine household furniture out of a wagon. Four generations later, the business has blossomed into 13 retail stores throughout Alabama and Tennessee, and its century-long commitment to quality furniture and customer service won it the Alabama Retail Association’s Silver Award as one of the Retailers of the Year in 2011. Each gallery abounds with bedroom, living-room, and dining-room furniture from top designers such as Lane, along with mattresses in a range of shapes and styles from brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, and Jamison. At each location, a knowledgeable staff awaits to offer design counsel, suggesting pieces that best suit a household’s style or will hold up against a disobedient pet woodchuck.
An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. Sydney accent chairs command shoppers’ attention with woody legwork, while minimalistic Cubit ottoman sets do captivating belly dances to bedazzle bored sultans. Matrix accent chairs, sofas such as the Victory chocolate sectional ($699), and beds including the Keytown panel bed ($499 queen) anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities.
Painted By U caters to burgeoning artists and crafters of all ages in a studio that invites visitors to create fused glass works, paint ceramic bisques, or color blank canvases. After choosing their piece from a selection of more than 300 ceramic forms, walk-in artists can elect colors from a rainbow of glazes with which to paint mugs, tiles, and pieces of Atlantis. Meanwhile, a glittering array of glass pieces awaits selection as experts help artists fuse and slump their assemblages into vibrant silica masterpieces. The studio's collection of idea books, stencils, and stamps kindle artistic inspiration, while studio assistants lend tips and tricks to creators hard at work. Party-planners can rent out an activity room that accommodates up to 18 guests to forge art-filled birthdays, bridal showers, or ladies' nights.